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Jax. 18 to 22, 1831.]

most exposed would derive the least benefit from the ulcasure. Mr. SILSBEE explained. It was Charlestown, in Massachusetts, to which he had alluded. The effects of this storm were not over. They might last thirty or forty days. Vessels within one hour's sail of port might be blown off for leagues. Many vessels would be in that situation. It was to supply such ships with men and provisions that this bill has been introduced. Mr. HAYNE moved to refer the bill to the Committee of Commerce, and suggested that this reference would enable the Senate to afford relief in the most efficient manner. He also suggested that the Government now possessed the means to extend the most prompt aid to ves. sels in distress. A circular from the Treasury Department could put in immediate requisition our revenue cutters for this purpose. After one or two additional remarks from Mr. WOODBURY, Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, and Mr. LIVINGSTON, the motion of Mr. HAYNE was negatived, and the bill was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading. Mr. LIVINGSTON then moved that the bill be forthwith read a third time, and passed. The VICE PRESIDENT stated that this motion required the unanimous consent of the Senate before it could be adopted. • Mr. BROWN objected to it, and it could not, therefore, be received. TRIAL OF JUDGE PECK,

The Senate then again resolved itself into a High Court of Impeachment.

Judge Cann appeared at the bar, and was permitted to make some explaiation on a point of his former testimony.

Mr. SPEXCER, of New York, a manager on the part of the House of Representatives, then rose, and addressed a very learned and able argument to the court in support of the impeachment. Having concluded at four o'clock, the court adjourned.

RELIEF VESSELS.

The Senate having resumed its legislative character,

Mr. BROWN withdrew the objection which he had made this morning to the third reading of the bill for sending relief vessels off our maritime coast; and it was then read a third time, and passed by the following vote, Mr. FORSYTH having required the yeas and nays.

YEAS.–Messrs. Barton, Bell, Burnet, Chambers, Chase, Clayton, Dickerson, Dudley, Foot, Frelinghuysen, Hendricks, Johnston, Kane, Knight, Livingston, Marks, Naudain, Noble, Robbins, Ruggles, Seymour, Silsbee, Smith, of Maryland, Sprague, Webster, Woodbury.—26.

NAYS.–Messrs. Benton, Brown, Ellis, Forsyth, Grundy, Hayne, King, McKinley, Poindexter, Robinson, Smith, of South Carolina, Tazewell, Tyler—13.

Adjourned.

TUEs DAY, JANUARY 18.

After receiving petitions, resolutions, and reports of committees, the Senate again resolved itself into a High Court of Impeachment. Mr. WICKLIFFE, one of the managers of the House of Representatives, commenced an argument in support of the impeachment at twelve o’clock, and concluded at a little past three. He advanced and maintained the positions that Judge Peck had no legal jurisdiction over the publication of Mr. Lawless, even supposing it to have been a contempt, for which he imprisoned and suspended him; and that, in truth, that publication was no contempt at all. Mr. W. defended the liberty of the press with energy and zeal. Mr. BUCHANAN and Mr. STORRS stated, for the in

Relief Pessels.--Impeachment Expenses.—Trial of Judge Peck.

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[SENATE.

tional authorities which they intended to produce in support of the impeachment.

The court and Senate then adjourned.

-
WEDNEspay, JANUARY 19.

After disposing of some morning business, the Senate resumed the impeachment.

Mr. MEREDITH addressed the court for three hours, in defence of the respondent. Having become exhausted in physical strength before he could conclude his speech, the court, at three o'clock, adjourned.

Thumsday, JANu: Any 20. The Senate spent the principal part of to-day as a Court of Impeachment. Mr. MEREDITH continued, without concluding, his ar. gument in defence of the respondent. "

FRIn Ay, JAN cany 21. IMPEACHMENT EXPENSES. The bill making provision for the payment of the witlosses, and of other expenses incurred in the trial of James H. Peck, District Judge of the United States for the District of Missouri, was taken up. [The bill allows each witness four dollars per day, and twenty cents mileage for travelling expenses.] Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, said that the witnesses who had attended the trial of Judge Chase had been allowed but three dollars a day, and twelve and a half cents mileage. He wished to know the reasons which had induced the committee to increase the compensation of the witnesses and the mileage in the present case. Mr. IREDELL replied, that when Judge Chase was tried, the pay of members of Congress was six dollars: it was now eight dollars. The committee conceived it but just to fix the compensation to the witnesses at one-half of that which was allowed members. Mr. GRUNDY said that another consideration showed the propriety of the increase. These witnesses had come from a much greater distance than the witnesses in the case of Judge Chase. Most of them were professional men, and had, by their absence from home, lost nearly a half year's practice. He should vote for the four dollars, and would have voted for six dollars if that sum had been in the bill. The blank in the bill was filled with the sum of twelve thousand dollars for the expenses of the trial; and, thus amended, it was engrossed, read a third time, and passed. TRIAL OF JUDGE PECK. The Senate then again resolved itself into a High Court of Impeachment. Mr. MEREDITH continued his argument for the respondent until half past three o'clock, when the court and Senate adjourned.

SATUn DAY, JANUARY 22.

The Senate having again resolved itself into a Court of Impeachment, Mr. MEREDITH concluded his argument at twenty minutes past one o'clock. Mr. WIRT then rose to address the court for the respondent. He regretted that he had been the unwilling cause of so much delay in the progress of this trial, and thanked the honorable court for the humanity of the indulgence which they had extended towards him. His friend might also have consumed much more time, in the opinion of some, than was necessary; but it would be recollected that two-thirds of that time had been used in reading precedents from the books. In a case in which the respondent was so deeply concerned, it would be a

idereliction of duty on the part of his counsel, if they were

SENATE.]

[JAN. 22, 1831.

to relinquish any of the ground which the honorable managers had deemed material to their argument; and time had probably been saved by the reading of the books which had been produced by his colleague. It would not be necessary to read them again. He should content himself with bestowing upon them a few passing remarks when he should come to the cases which they presented. Some topics which had, he could not but presume, been introduced for effect, it would be necessary for him to notice. In doing so, he begged to be understood as treating the honorable managers with every possible respect. He knew the amiable, upright, and enlightened qualities which adorned them. Whatever they had deemed of importance, he could not be so presumptuous as to pass by unregarded. It had been stated that the House of Representatives, by a large majority, in which party had no share, had voted this impeachment. What was the object of this remark? Why was it introduced here? Could it enter into the consideration of this honorable court, whether the House of Representatives had been hasty or not; whether party had influenced them in the vote which they gave for this impeachment? Would it be decorous in the respondent, or in those who were connected with him, to impeach their proceedings?' He knew too well his duty to that honorable House, to this honorable court, and to his humble self, to step so far out of his way as to question the motives for this impeachment. The House of Representatives were the grand inquest of the nation. Their article of impeachment against Judge Peck was the finding of the grand jury. Would it be proper, in a case before a petit jury, for counsel to appeal to the proceedings of the grand jury; to say that they had, by a large majority, uninfluenced by party spirit, found a bill of indictment? Would not the court, in that case, stop counsel, and say to him, sir, we have nothing to do with the grand jury, or its motives; we are to try this case upon its merits, without reference to what passed in the grand jury on the subject? The finding of the grand inquest is simply the accusation. The honorable House had not come here to sacrifice a victim whom they had fore-doomed to destruc. tion. They had done nothing more than to declare that the offence with which the respondent had been charged, was worthy of a trial. The respondent was not there, before the honorable House, upon his trial. They had sent him here to be tried. What was the fundamental feature of a trial of that sort? It was, that the accused was presumed to be innocent until he had been found guilty. But, if the remark of which he was now complaining were to have weight, that principle would be reversed. The accused was to be presumed to be guilty until proved to be innocent. He hoped to hear no more of the majority, or the motive by which this impeachment had been instituted by the honorable House. He considered such remarks improper. The respondent stood here unknown, almost alone, a stranger from the western wilds, to breast the storm of this impeachment. He trusted to this honorable court for a fair trial, and relied upon the correctness, and innocence, and purity, of his own conduct, for an honorable acquittal. . He would be tried by the simple, naked facts and principles of the case, and not by the dramatic exhibition of fancied analogies which they had witnessed. Was the respondent to be involved in the turpitude of all the wicked judges of England; in the guilt of the unsparing Jeffreys, the tumultuous Scroggs, and the tyrant Bromley? He trusted not: he hoped that he would be tried upon his own merits alone. He admonished the honorable managers, that something was continually occurring to remind us of the infirmity of human reason contending against human prejudice. This must teach charity to all. He apprehended the existence of some extraordinary prejudice which had influenced and inflamed the spirit of this prosecution. He, too, might be the victim of prejudice; of that friendship which a close intimacy had produced

Trial of Judge Peck.

with the respondent. He admitted an equality of infirmity with the honorable managers. This honorable court would decide between them. To what other cause than prejudice could he impute the language in which the respondent had been held up as a judicial tyrant, a petty provincial judge, a monster, walking over the fallen'bodies of the constitution and laws of his country? This picture of wickedness and horror had been sent as far as the press could range; as far as the wings of genius and eloquence could send it. Many a father in the remote parts of the country had read this account with feelings of abhorrence. With the paper in his hand, he had probably said to his son—see, what a monster is now before the Senate of the United States! If your country should ever elevate you to public station, never become such a monster as this Peck. He may no doubt have had respectable parents; he may once have been respectable himself; but see what a monster of crime, of shame, and of ignominy, he has now become! How long would it not be before this cruel error could be corrected; before it would be seen, upon the testimony of the most respectable gentlemen, that this monster was one of the most mild, patient, kind and courteous of human beings: so amiable, that, in the language of one of the witnesses, he was dear to all who knew him. He could not help ascribing the terrible picture which had been drawn of the respondent, to some unaccountable prejudice. He adverted to other topics, of which the honorable managers appeared to him to have taken a discolored and distorted view. The respondent had been represented as an enemy to the freedom of the press; a principle sacred to all. He was represented to have scofied at it. This judicial monster was described as having walked over the prostrate liberty of the press, and as having attempted to sneer and snarl it out of existence. Where had he said this of it? Where had he uttered one sentiment of disrespect towards the liberty of the press? Not here, certainly. But he had done so in his defence before the House of Representatives, which had been introduced as evidence here, for the purpose of establishing this charge against the respondent. Look at that defence, and see whether he has treated the liberty of the press with contempt. “It is said, that in punishing this publication as a contempt, the judge has invaded the liberty of the press.” What is the liberty of the press? And in what does it consist? Does it consist in a right to vilify the tribunals of the country, and to bring them into contempt, by gross and wanton misrepresentations of their proceedings? Does it consist in a right to obstruct and corrupt the streams of justice, by poisoning the Fo mind with regard to causes in these tribunals, before they are heard? Is this a correct idea of the liberty of the press? If so, the defamer has a charter as free as the winds, provided he resort to the press for the propagation of his slander; and, under the prostituted sanction of the liberty of the press, hoary age and virgin innocence lie at his mercy. This is not the idea of the liberty of the press which prevails in counts of justice, or which exists in any sober or well regulated mind. The liberty of the press is among the greatest of blessings, civil and political, so long as it is directed to its proper ob. ject, that of disseminating correct and useful information among the people. But this greatest of blessings may become the greatest of curses, if it shall be permitted to burst its proper barriers. . The river Mississippi is a blessing to the country through which it flows, so long as it keeps within its banks; but it becomes a scourge and a destroyer when it breaks them. “ The liberty of the press has always been the favorite watchword of those who live by its licentiousness. It has been, from time immemorial, is still, and ever will be, the perpetual decantantum on the lips of all libellers. Oswald attempted to screen himself under its aegis, in the case which has been cited from the 1st Dallas. But the attempt was in vain. The

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JAN. 22, 1831.]

court taught him the difference between the liberty of the press and the licentiousness of the press. and, in his further attempt to raise an impeachment against the judges for that sentence, the House of Delegates confirmed the wholesome lesson. If, indecd, the liberty of the press was a panoply broad enough to cover every thing done in its name, nothing in the form of a publication could ever have been punished as a contempt of court. In all the reported cases, in which those publishers have been called to answer for a contempt, wherever the defence has appeared in the report, it is the liberty of the press which is the perpetual theme. It is uniformly claimed to be the right of the citizen to question the acts of all public men, and the changes are continually rung on that great palladium of human rights and human happiness—the liberty of the press; as if human rights and human happiness could be promoted by the prostration and destruction of courts of justice, or by poisoning their streams in the sountain head. It is unnecessary to pursue this subject. The judge has never pretended that his opinions are not to be questioned. He insists, however, that they are to be questioned only according to the laws of the land. One mode of questioning them, under these laws, is by appeal to a superior court; and, after the subject-matter shall have been finally decided, another mode of questioning them is, by respectful discussion, either in the public prints or elsewhere. Hn the present case, the first mode of questioning the opinion, that by appeal, had been resorted to. For the second mode, that of respectful discussion, the case was not ready, because the subject-matter had not been disposed of finally; and even if it had been, it has been shown that there was no semblance of investigation in this article; no pretence of discussion of any kind. It was sheer misrepresentation; and it does not follow, that, because an opinion of a court may be respectfully discussed, it may, therefore, be misrepresented; much less, that it may be so misrepresented as not only to impair the confidence of the public in the dignity, intelligence, and purity of the tribunal, but to render both the judge and the court objects of universal contempt, scorn, and ridicule; and least of all, that, in doing this, a strong prejudice shall also be infused into the pub: lic mind with regard to causes still pending in the court.” was this [demanded Mr. Wint] a sneer at the liberty of the press? Was there here any snarl at the liberty of the press? Was the declaration, that it was the greatest of human blessings, confined to the dissemination of truth and intelligence among the people, an attempt to bring the liberty of the press into contempt? Was not the doctrine here laid down by the judge the sound doctrine concerning the liberty of the press? And would it not meet the approbation of all, except the libeller? To be useful, the ilberty of the press must be restrained. The principle of restraint was impressed upon every part of creation. By restraint the planets were kept in their orbits. The earth performed its regular evolutions by the restraint of the centrifugal force operating upon it. The vine would shoot into rank luxuriance, if not under the restraint of the laws of nature, by which every thing was preserved within its proper bounds. Was not every thing on earth impressed with this principle? and was not the liberty of the press to be restrained to the performance of its rightful functions of propagating truth for just ends? It was not always those who were loudest in their clamors for the liberty of the press, who were its best friends. There be those who, when they hear those bursts of genius and eloquence upon the liberty of the press, could say, like poor Cordelia— “ Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave My heart into my mouth: I love your Majesty Aceording to my bond; nor more, nor less.” He thought there had been no occasion for the remarks which had been made on this subject. Judge Peck loved the liberty of the press with as much purity as those who had been so loud in its praises. If he had, in the com

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mencement of this trial, been subjected to a commentary so severe, what might not be expected in its sequel? It had been charged upon the respondent, that he had dared to attempt to buy off this impeachment by an intimation that he was entitled to consideration and exemption, because he had decided the case of Soulard in favor of the United States. It had been alleged that he had tried to buy off the House of Representatives by dirty acres. If he had done so, he was a vile and degraded man, and, he would add, one of the most consummate fools that ever sat upon the bench. But where had he said this? At the close of his defence, he [Judge Peck] observed, “that, in this proceeding, he was actuated by a sense of official duty. He considered it his duty to sustain the dignity and authority of the court over which he had been appointed to preside: he considered it due to the Government which he represented; due to the tribunal, and due to the suitors whose rights were committed to its protection, to punish this contempt as he did punish it. He did consider himself, and does still consider himself, as sustained, at every step, by the highest authority. He believed it, conscientiously, to be his solemn and imperious duty to make the example which he did make, more especially in relation to the country in which he holds his courts, and the nature of the claims which he was called upon to adjudicate, and which had produced this agitation. If, in so doing, he has erred, he has erred in company with judicial characters with whom any judge may be proud to associate; and he has yet to learn that such an error would be a high misdemeanor in the sense of the constitution of the United States. Judge Peck is perfectly aware of the purposes to be answered by his removal, and is, therefore, not at all surprised at the pertinacity with which it has been sought for the last four years. Whether these purposes are such as the interests of the United States call upon them to countenance, by ordering further proceedings in this case, is a question for others, not for Judge Peck. Confident he is, that, if he had been made of more pliant materials, and could have reconciled it to himself to consult his repose, rather than his sense of duty, the House would not have been troubled with this inquiry.” Was this, sir, a proposition to buy off impeachment? Was this the language of a man crouching under the charge which had been alleged against him? There was no attempt, here, to screen himself by a bribe; by an appeal to the interest of the honorable House of Representatives. It was the language of a man indignantly asserting his innocence, and turning upon his accuser. It was no attempt to buy off punishment. Let candid and honorable men read and decide for themselves. There was another circumstance which he felt himself called o to notice with unspeakable regret. He had heard of it with pain, while confined to his bed. The respondent, held up, as he had been, before these crowded galleries, and this assembled multitude, as a judicial monster; a petty provincial tyrant; thus caricatured, empaled and crucified, before this nation, with these lacerated feelings, having occasion to speak to a point of evidence, he had betrayed an emotion with his trembling hand; a tear had started from his eye. Was it wonderful that the respondent, innocent and simple-hearted as a child, with his reputation at hazard; with an aged parent, whose gray hairs he did not wish to send down to the grave with sorrow, should have thus betrayed his feelings on the occasion? Yet, an honorable manager [Mr. Wick LIFFE] had represented him as shedding feigned tears, crocodile tears, before this assembly and #. nation. Did the honorable manager recollect the prosecution of Sir Walter Raleigh by Sir Edward Coke? Did he remember the spirit in which that prosecution had been conducted? Did he recollect that Sir Edward Coke had stigmatized that gallant soldier as a spider of hell? Let him ask the honorable manager which character he would rather bear with pos.

SENATE.]

Trial of Judge Peck.

[JAN. 24 to 28, 1831.

terity—that of Sir Walter Raleigh or sir Edward Coke, He had the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with the honorable manager; he well knew that unkindness and barbarity were far removed from his heart. What, then, but some unaccountable prejudice could have induced these remarks? They had gone to the world. It would be a long time before this trial would go before the world, to correct the impressions which the representations of honorable managers had made. He had, therefore, been anxious to show that the respondent was not the jūdicial monster that he was charged with being; that he had not violated the liberty of the press; that he had not attempted to buy off this impeachment; that he was amiable, patient, and forbearing, both as a man and a judge, and that the epithets applied to him had been the effect of prejudice, of heated and perverted imaginations, having no foundation in fact.

Mr. WIRT was proceeding to consider the merits of the case; when, at the suggestion of Mr. WEB stER, the court adjourned.

Mox DAr, JANu Any 24.

The Senate having again resolved itself into a Court of Impeachment,

Mr. McDUFFIE rose and said, that in consequence of a remark of Mr. W1 Rt yesterday, he felt himself called upon to say, in substance, that the publication of his remarks, in opening the case against Judge Peck, had been made without his authority; that the report of these remarks must have appeared evidently imperfect, though Probably as perfect as, under the circumstances, it could have been; and that, if he had been consulted, he should have advised against the publication.

Mr. WIRT acceded to the correctness of these sugges. tions, and appeared to do so the more readily from the fact that he had seen his own remarks, made on Saturday, published this morning, without his having been consulted on the subject. He added, that he was sure that nothing had been said by the honorable manager in his opening speech, of the truth of which he had not been entirely satisfied.

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The Senate again resolved itself into a High Court of Impeachment.

Mr. WIRT occupied four hours in concluding his speech for the respondent. Wit, sarcasm, searching argument, and impressive eloquence, poured forth in streams, riveted the attention and elicited the admiration of a crowded Senate-room and crowded galleries during that long space of time. Whatever might be the fate of the respondent, said the graceful orator, in subdued and almost exhausted tones; whether convicted or acquitted, he should always be proud to take him by the hand as that noblest of God's works, AN hon Est MAN, and to call him his Fn IEN p.

The ourt cand Senate then adjourned.

WEDx Espay, JANUAny 26. After the consideration of a number of private bills, &c. the Senate again resolved itself into a Court of Impeachment.

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Mr. CLAYTON, from the Committee appointed to in-
vestigate the present condition of the Post office Depart-
ment, offered the following resolution, observing that the
committee were unanimously of the opinion, that, in order
to prosecute that investigation with effect, it was necessa-
ry that they should be empowered to send for persons and
apers.
p Resolved, That the Select Committee appointed to ex-
amine and report the present condition of the Post office
Department have power to send for persons and papers.
Mr. CLAYTON moved the second reading and adoption
of the resolution at this time; but this motion requiring
the unanimous assent of the Senate for its passage, and
Mr. BENTON objecting to it, the resolution lies on the
table one day.
Mr. LIVINGSTON submitted the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be instructed
to inquire into the expediency of making further provi-
sion for the support of Africans captured by vessels of the
United States, and brought into the United States.
TRIAL OF JUDGE PEck.
The Senate then again resolved itself into a Court of
Impeachment.
Mr. STORRS concluded his argument in support of the
impeachment. Its sequel was peculiarly impressive and
eloquent. One sentiment uttered by the honorable man-
ager is especially worthy of record. He said the best
support of the judiciary was to be found in the affections
of the people. The people would be true to the judiciary
as long as they were true to themselves. The judiciary
would find protection with the people, and in their legis-
lative halls, until they should become so debased as to be
unworthy of protection. It was not by the usurpation of
an unlawful and tyrannical power, nor by the exercise of
an unlawful jurisdiction, that they could expect their inde-
pendence to be respected or preserved; and he seemed to
press this point so far as to think that the character, utility,
and fate of the judicial branch of the Government depend-
cd upon the decision of this case.
The court and Senate adjourned.

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The Senate again resolved itself into a High Court of
Impeachment. -

Mr. WIRT, with permission, explained a remark which
he was understood to have made towards the conclusion
of his argument in favor of the respondent. -

Mr. BUCHANAN then rose, and addressed the court in an able argument in support of the impeachment. He

Mr. STORRS rose and addressed the Court in support declared, that the usurpation of an authority not legally

of the impeachment, for upwards of three hours. He maintained the position, that no free citizen could be pun

possessed by a judge, or the manifest abuse of a power
really given, was a misbehavior in the sense of the con-

ished by the summary process of attachment for a libel or |stitution, for which he should be dismissed from office.

contempt against any court in a cause not pending in that

He contended, that the conduct of Judge Peck, in the case

court; that such a power had never been exercised, even of Mr. Lawless, was in express violation of the constitu

by the courts of England; that the charge against Judge Peck was not so much for suspending Mr. Lawless, as an attorney, from practice in his court, but for imprison; him, and depriving him of his liberty as a citizen, without indictment and trial by jury; that libels or contempts, for

tion and the laws of the land; that the circumstances of
that case were amply sufficient to show a criminal inten-
tion on his part in the summary punishment of Mr. Law-
less; that, in order to prove the criminality of his intention,
it was not necessary to demonstrate an actually malicious

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JAN. 29, 1831.] o

action, or a lurking revenge; that the infliction upon Mr. Lawless of a summary and cruel punishment, for having written an article decorous in its language, was itself sufficient to prove the badness of the motive; that the consequences of the judge’s actions were indicative of his intentions; that our courts had no right to punish, as for contempts, in a summary mode, libels, even in pending causes: and that, if he succeeded, as he believed he should, in establishing these positions, he should consider that he had a right to demand the judgment of the court against the respondent. The honorable manager continued to address the court for three hours and a quarter; and finding that he could not conclude his argument at this sitting, the court adjourned till to-morrow.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 29.

DUTY ON II:ON.

The VICE PRESIDENT communicated a memorial from the mechanics and others, workers in iron, of the city and county of Philadelphia, praying for a reduction of the duties upon imported iron. It was referred to the Select Committee, to whom a former memorial on the same subject was committed. The VICE PRESIDENT also communicated a memorial from sundry inhabitants of New Jersey, praying a drawback of the duties on iron, and other articles employed in the building of American ships. Mr. DICKERSON moved the reference of this paper to the Committee on Manufactures. Mr. HAYNE, suggested that it more appropriately belonged to the Committee on Commerce; and he made a motion accordingly. The question being first taken on the reference to the Committee on Manufactures, there appeared ayes 12, noes 10. There being no quorum voting, Mr. WOODBURY called for the reading of the memorial; which being done, Mr. HAYNE said he still thought the Committee of Commerce to be the proper direction for this memorial. It referred to drawbacks on various articles, and this consideration would induce him to adhere to his motion, to refer it to that committee. Mr. DICKERSON said the first motion was on referring the memorial to the Committee on Manufactures. It deeply involved the interests of one of the most important manufactures in the country, ship building, which, though ultimately looking to the commercial, yet was as vitally interesting to the manufacturing concerns of the country. A memorial praying for a drawback on nails, had been referred to the Committee on Commerce, although the subject would more appropriately come under the cognizance of the Committee on Manufactures. Mr. BENTON said, if he comprehended the views of the gentleman from New Jersey, he was hostile to the objects of the memorial; and, therefore, the committee over which he presided was not a fit tribunal to decide on its merits. Under that belief, he [Mr. B.] would invoke to his aid a rule of the Senate, which he had successfully done on a former occasion, providing that no bill or memorial should be committed to a committee hostile to it. As far back as our legislation had commenced, it had been the wholesome practice, except in a few instances, to refer all subjects to committees deemed favorably disposed to them, on the principle “that a child should not be put out to nurse to those who would strangle or destroy it, by refusing it sufficient nourishment.” Under the belief, then, that the Committee on Manufactures, over which the gentleman from New Jersey presided, was hostile to the prayer of the memorial, he hoped it would be referred to the Committee on Commerce, where it would meet with a more favorable consideration.

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Mr. WOODBURY admitted the fact, that the subject of the memorial related immediately to manufactures, and to manufactures the most important to the country; but they were directly concerned with commerce, and, in the end, were vitally interesting to it. The memorial should then go to that distinct committee. The gentleman from New Jersey had made an allusion to the memorial, praying for a drawback on nails. He had and still thought that that memorial had been very properly referred to the Committee on Commerce; not that nails were not manufactures, but because the object of the memorial was for the benefit of the commercial interest. Suppose, [said Mr. W.] the memorial related to the manufacture of cannon and gunpowder, would it not be more appropriately referred to the Military Committee than the Committee on Manufactures? Mr. DICKERSON said he could explain the reasons which induced him to wish this subject referred to the Committee on Manufactures. It was becoming the practice of late, whenever a petition was presented to the Senate praying for the repeal or reduction of duties on iron, on woollens, or almost any other article, it was immediately sent to the Committee on Commerce, thus tending to throw the weight of these interests into the hands of the merchants of the country, to the exclusion of a fair representation of the views of the manufacturers. If we take the view of the gentleman from New New Hampshire, [said Mr. D.,] the Committee on Manufactures will soon be a mere nominal committee, shorn of its influence upon the action of Congress. Mr. KING observed, that he nad been under the impression that it was the object of the Congress of the United States to give to every subject presented to them by our fellow-citizens such a consideration as would induce them to believe that the investigation had been conducted with fairness and deliberation. Now, sir, said he, if we refer this memorial to the committee on Manufactures—a committee confessedly hostile to its objects, will it be believed by the memorialists that their views and arguments had met with fair, candid, and deliberate examination? By our sending it to that committee, they cannot think otherwise than that we have prejudged their case, and decided against it without giving it the slightest consideration. Mr. K. would not enlarge on this view of the subject; he would only leave it to the gentleman from New Jersey, whether he believed that any report of the committee, over which he presided, would be favorable to the memorial, if, indeed, they reported at all. Without at this time entering into any argument, he would merely express the hope that the memorial would be referred to such a committee as would satisfy the memorialists that the Senate was disposed to give to their views a fair and candid examination. Mr. FOOT said he was somewhat surprised to hear it contended that this subject belonged exclusively to the Committee on Commerce. The memorial prayed for a drawback upon various articles, classed among the manufactures of the country. The practice of both Houses of Congress seemed, in any event, to forbid its being sent to the Committee on Commerce. If it were not referred to the Committee on Manufactures, it surely should rather go to the Committee on Finance. Mr. WOOD BURY said he wished to state, in illustration, one or two facts that had occurred to him, in conscquence of the remarks of the gentleman from New Jersey. The memorial on the subject of a drawback on nails manufactured from imported iron, had first been referred to the Committee on Finance, and that commit. tee had been discharged from its further consideration, and it had been sent to the Committee on Commerce; so

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